Three years ago I contracted sepsis following shock wave treatment to remove a kidney stone. (Sepsis and Kidney Stones) The granules got stuck in my urethra and lead to severe infection in my kidney. I live alone and became unconscious. My daughter found me and I was rushed into hospital. I had a CT scan and was given an emergency tube to drain my kidney and bladder and retained in ICU for several days with a 10 day stay in an isolation ward. I was told I was lucky to survive as they had given me an hour to live!
I had stage 3 sepsis and was critically ill for some time. My recovery has been slow and I was told to expect to probably deal with life adjustments. I was diagnosed with PTSD, chronic fatigue and mild cognitive impairment. Three years on, there has been some improvement (not helped by COVID-19) but I now live with a much limited capacity and capability than before.
I push myself daily to do some mild exercise . I fall asleep most afternoons, when the task of normal living is too much. I still struggle emotionally and mentally my memory has taken a nose dive. I lose words and especially names. I sometimes don’t even know I have slept, but look at the clock and see I have lost a couple of hours. I get repeated attacks of shingles and now take suppression medication.
I used to run a thriving business, I had to give this up, I just could not perform at all. After 2 years I eventually felt well enough to try working and I started working as a part time community carer. I managed to work for 3 hours a day. I really enjoyed doing something worthwhile and I managed to keep this job for about 6 months, although it took its toll. After 3 hours I could not do anything else and my home life and personal care became too difficult to manage. So I had to leave as I also found that I was beginning to forget crucial parts of the role.
So now three years on, I am still struggling, my muscles have wasted away. I still push myself to be as active as possible, but the pain and fatigue are hard to bear. I find I cannot watch TV as much, loud noises affect me, as do large crowds and too many questions. I forget names, I forget words, I forget I have done things then go back to do them and can’t understand how they got done. I have learned not to panic about all these changes, and that helps. Although I keep having to explain to people I have already explained to that I am still struggling. I am a fighter and I will continue to try and improve. Yet there are times when I just cry all day as I feel like I can’t do anything.
Mostly I do pace myself and the benefit of this helps me push myself to relish each day as much as possible.
I struggle with muscle pain and lack of strength.